“Far From Home” sounds like a lyric from a song or something Dorothy would say when she arrived in Oz. In this case, our Dorothy is Tilly, and the Tin Man is Saru. You’ll notice that on this journey, the smartest and most action-oriented is Philippa Georgiou. Perhaps she’s the Lion and Scarecrow combined.
Anyhow, this episode had a cowboy feel to it, perhaps echoing Roddenberry’s original pitch as a way to tell the cowboy story in space. As he put it, a “wagon train to the stars.”
After the last episode’s focus entirely on Michael’s arrival into the future, this one picks up with the Discovery and her crew’s fate.
When they emerge from the wormhole, the crew found that they all lost consciousness due to the G-forces. All systems were failing as the ship hurtled toward an unknown planet. Detmer (Emily Coutts) was able to land the Discovery in a field of jagged ice, and in one piece.
NOTE: Many on social media said that the Discovery needed seatbelts on the bridge. During these landing scenes, the crew got tossed around. This is a fact. Perhaps they can get the same kind of seatbelts that the crew of the Kelvin Enterprise had. Those were cool.
When the crew rose to their feet after the landing, Detmer had a gash on the side of her head. Acting Captain Saru (Doug Jones) sent her to sickbay, then took charge of repairs. Tilly (Mary Wiseman) reported that sensors were down, meaning that they didn’t know where or when they were. Bryce (Ronnie Rowe Jr.) said that communications were down.
Jett Reno (Tig Notaro) complained of a bad back. Still, she diagnosed the ship’s problem to be a “ruptured plasma manifold.” This would take a bunch of time and effort to fix. The crew started to feel bad because they could not call for help or call Michael. Saru said they were together and alive. He ordered that all begin work on fixing the problems and to work in pairs due to the communications problem.
“I am aware that you all may feel an expedited need to see what is out there,” said Saru. “But, our first priority is in here… the integrity of this ship and this crew.”
Saru walked with Tilly through the ship. As he surveyed the damage, she told him that there appeared to be pockets of technology and life on the planet’s surface. The air was not quite breathable; this confirmed that they were not on Terralysium.
Bryce found that the communications repair would take many hours, as the “transtator” would need to be rebuilt entirely. Georgiou walked up to see what Bryce was doing. Tilly looked at her boots, and there was blood and guts visible. She stomped the life out of the Leland AI creation. Yuck!
“Somebody had to make sure he was dead,” said Georgiou. She then yelled at Bryce over the news that they had no communications. Saru stepped in and told her that they were all working to restore all systems.
In sickbay, Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz) tended to Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), who was severely injured before the Discovery jumped into the future.
NOTE: It was cool that the production team incorporated the TOS sickbay sound effects into this scene. They hold up!
Culber said that others needed the bed, so he took him to the cellular regeneration chamber. Stamets would need to stay in there a few days before he could resume work. Stamets argued, but Culber insisted.
“It’s good to have you back,” said Stamets.
“It’s good to have you alive!” said Culber.
Meanwhile, Detmer got some medical attention from Dr. Pollard (Raven Dauda). Pollard fixed the gash on Detmer’s head and said there was no evidence of a concussion. She released Detmer, who was acting very strangely. Nahn (Rachael Ancheril) seemed to notice, as did Culber, but neither said anything.
In the captain’s ready room, Georgiou asked why Bryce was not repairing the transtator. Tilly said because they did not have enough Rubindium to repair the device. Georgiou noted that the future brought them a new periodic table.
NOTE: It’s worth mentioning that we’ve had quite a few new elements through the years in Trek. I wonder how many new elements they will introduce from this new era.
Georgiou got upset because she wanted to be able to reach Michael. Tilly noted that the settlements on the planet might have a supply of Rubindium. She also said the ships on the planet look warp-capable but lack dilithium.
Tilly stammered, and Georgiou lost her patience.
“Should we get the command training manual, or can you find your own way to make a point,” Georgiou said.
NOTE: All of the crew looked sweaty — even Saru. It reminds me of the TOS days when Shatner was almost always sweaty during the episodes. This adds to the story since the Discovery is all broken down, so it would make sense that the A/C is also not working as well as it should.
Saru stuck up for Tilly, saying that they were all aware that communications needed to be fixed. He also said that they’d go to the settlements and attempt to reveal as little of themselves as possible. Georgiou, again, was not impressed.
“They have an artificial atmosphere, Saru,” said Georgiou. “These are not Kelpians who haven’t seen a starship.”
NOTE: If that was supposed to be a jab at Saru, he did not let Georgiou know that this bothered him.
Saru said they would barter peacefully. Georgiou said that a ship crash-landed where she was in charge; she’d have the ship surrounded, weapons drawn.
“We will not abandon what we believe!” Saru said to Georgiou, sternly. Saru told Tilly that she would come with him to the settlement. Both Nahn and Georgiou were shocked by this choice.
“Are you trying to get us all slaughtered?” said Georgiou. “She has about as much psychic dominance as a kitten.”
Tilly started to get upset, but Saru caught her. He sent her to sickbay to have Dr. Pollard give them a treatment so they could breathe the thin air. He put Nahn in charge of the repairs and asked Georgiou to assist in the repairs of the EPS grid.
Stamets stumbled into the engineering area and saw a crew member cleaning up the bloody mess, which used to be Leland. Jett told him that they were working together, and he pushed back. He winced as he moved. Jett told him they ought to get someone else to climb into the Jefferies Tube to fix the problem. He took it as a challenge and climbed up to make the repair himself.
Saru and Tilly left the ship and looked at the frozen world for the first time. There were glaciers and rocks floating in the sky. WOW!
“Are you trying to get us all slaughtered?” said Georgiou. “She has about as much psychic dominance as a kitten.”
Tilly talked nervously as they trodded along. He thanked him for choosing her for this trip. He said that she is a “wonderful first impression” for anyone they would meet. They spotted someone and followed him.
Back on the ship, Nahn told Georgiou that the ice was “parasitic.” When the sun went down, the ice would consume the ship. They verbally sparred as they walked down the corridors. Georgiou said that Section 31 would beg her to take over, but she will not because “bureaucracy is where fun goes to die.”
They eventually met Linus (David Benjamin Tomlinson). Linus said the EPS grid worked on Deck 6, but Georgiou was more interested in the Saurian’s vision.
“You must have an enormous visible spectrum,” said Georgiou.
“Hmm. 74,000 nanometers,” said Linus.
“We should talk,” said Georgiou. Nahn ordered Linus to Deck 8, and Georgiou said that she would join him.
NOTE: What is she up to? Georgiou is planning something.
Tilly started wigging out, afraid as they followed the “guy.” Saru told her to contain it. They watched the guy walk between two rocks and transport somewhere. They pursued and suddenly appeared at the entrance of a bar… or perhaps we should call it a saloon. This is where the story started going full cowboy movie.
All of the humanoids in the bar surrounded Saru and Tilly. They were all pointing phasers. Saru tried to talk them down, but the humanoids (Coridanite) knew that the Discovery was a Starfleet vessel.
One of the Coridanites lowered his phaser and said his name was Kal. He had been waiting for Starfleet to arrive for some time, thinking that they would be able to help.
Saru asked what planet they were on, and Kat said they called it “The Colony.” He explained that they were miners, many Coridan. The others tried to get Kal to be quiet, saying that Zarah “will have tracked them here.”
Everything got quiet for a moment until Tilly mentioned that they had dilithium. Kal said they would need extra to sell at the Exchange (as seen in the previous episode). The humanoids agreed to fix the transtator in return for some dilithium.
Kal started to fix the device with two chopstick-looking tools. He was drawing the part in the air, with “programable matter.” Tilly was not expecting this and stammered a bit.
NOTE: This is a cool innovation, perhaps just one of many that we’ll see in the far future. But I don’t think that we’ll see many of these sorts of things because of The Burn. When society crumbles, innovation ends. This is like what happened with the Roman Empire.
Tilly told Kal (Jonathan Koensgen) that he was good at using the programmable matter. He asked if he was “Starfleet material.” She agreed. He told her that he felt Starfleet would eventually come and help them.
Saru asked the “bartender,” Os’ir, about Zarah, and mentioned that the Discovery had been drifting for some time. Os’ir said that Zarah was their courier (like Book in the last episode). He said that Zarah took this position by killing the previous courier and destroyed all of their “stuff.” Saru asked why the Federation had not stepped in, and Os’ir asked, “where are you from?”
Just then, Zarah and his thugs arrived. Kal told Saru and Tilly to leave.
NOTE: As Zarah (Jake Weber) walked in, their boots clinked with “spurs.” Funny!
Zarah knew about the Discovery landing and noted that there were huge gamma bursts and gravity waves when the ship arrived. He figured that they were “time travelers.”
He demanded to go to the Discovery, but Saru said, “no.” He shot Kal for fixing the transtator. It was quite a gruesome death. The beam from Zarah’s gun cooked Kal where he stood.
Zarah went through Tilly’s bag, saying that he would trade them to the Orions at the Exchange. Saru tried to bargain with her stuff for Os’ir’s life, but Zarah started to talking to his men in a different language. Saru said they’d get further by speaking in the “common tongue.”
He asked Saru how he couldn’t understand “pigeon.” Zarah told Saru that he had no authority, thanks to the Burn. Saru wanted to negotiate for the dilithium, but Zarah told him that Saru was wasting time. He warned that the ice would soon consume the Discovery.
Back on the ship, Nahn visited Jett and Stamets. She was looking for Georgiou, who was now missing. Jett scoffed, asking why Nahn thought that Georgiou would actually “help.” Funny!
Saru and Zarah came to an agreement, and Zarah ordered Tilly to walk back to the ship to get the dilithium. He warned her about the ice.
On the ship, Jett walked Stamets through the Jefferies Tube, but as he crawled, the ice affected the ship from the outside. He struggled as the Discovery rocked. Jett called for Dr. Culber.
At the bar, Zarah’s men found Georgiou and tossed her inside.
NOTE: This is what the Discovery crew needs. I am a little disappointed that Saru rolled over so easily against Zarah. Kirk would not have allowed this. Georgiou is like Kirk. A badass.
Georgiou started talking to one of Zarah’s men, trying to sow dissent. Zarah finally shot her, but not on full power. He shot her a few times, allowing Saru to fight and take control of the situation. Tilly hid.
NOTE: Georgiou (of course) kicked butt in her high-heel boots. But Saru showed off a new power — he shot spikes from his cheeks. Wow! That was unexpected.
Georgiou wanted to kill Zarah, but Saru stopped her. Tilly smashed a bottle over Zarah’s head. In a very tense moment, Saru ordered Georgiou to “stand down” and turn over the weapon. Georgiou resisted and pointed the gun at Saru for a moment, but eventually complied.
NOTE: I believe this will be something to watch. Georgiou may eventually challenge Saru for command of the Discovery.
Saru promised that they would send dilithium back to Os’ir, and they would also leave Zarah’s vessel. Saru apologized. Os’ir sent Zarah out into the cold. He then told Saru that they needed to get back to their ship and then handed Saru an object.
“Personal transporter,” said Os’ir. “Welcome to the future.”
On the Discovery, Stamets got the job done, despite the pain. Power was restored. Bryce added the fixed transtator back onto the ship, and communications started working again.
On the bridge, all was getting back into shape. Everyone checked in, except for Detmer, who was slow to respond. She cautioned that the ship was not designed for this. Saru said he knew, but they needed to try.
“Personal transporter. Welcome to the future.”
NOTE: Is something going on with Detmer? Is the evil AI (Control) inside her implant? We shall have to watch this.
As the ice began to surround the Discovery’s hull, Detmer worked to blast the ship out. Tilly and Rhys detected a ship above. Georgiou said that it must be Zarah’s friends. Saru called for red alert. The enemy ship used its tractor beam to pull the Discovery out of the ice. They hailed the Discovery.
After a tense minute, Saru opened a channel. It was Michael! Everyone gasped and sighed. Michael said she’d landed there a year ago.
“I’ve been waiting for you all this time!” said Michael.
TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:
Very well done. I enjoyed this one for a few reasons. Like the Avengers movies, the writers broke up the team to get more lines for Detmer, Nahn, and others who usually have just a small part to play. So, the main character (Michael) got one full episode for her story. In contrast, Saru, Georgiou, ad the Discovery itself got another episode. Nice!
I also liked how we got a few hints on what may happen in upcoming episodes. For example:
- Will Saru and Georgiou have a disagreement that cannot be worked out?
- Is Detmer being controlled by an AI?
- Will Book become part of the Discovery crew?
One question I had was that ships were much less reliant on dilithium in the TNG days than they were in the TOS era. The way I understood it, they were able to regenerate dilithium, and the crystal became more like a spark plug for the warp core rather than its power source. What happened to this technology? I hope we find out.
RATING: 4 out of 5